It seems opportunist and downright lazy to suggest Michael R. Roskam's new crime-drama is a "fitting" final film for the late James Gandolfini. The Brooklyn-born actor, who died suddenly of a heart attack in Italy in 2013, delivered a ton of extraordinary performances in his career - not least in the excellent Enough Said - though as cousin Marv in the intense, brooding The Drop, his finest talents as an actor are clearly on show.

The DropJames Gandolfini [L] and Tom Hardy [R] in The Drop

The Drop focuses on Tom Hardy's Bob Saginowski, who funnels cash to local gangsters through his place of work. However, under the heavy hand of his employer (Ganfolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone and awry and a subsequent investigation digs deep into the neighbourhood's criminal underground.

More: James Gandolfini's final movie, The Drop, with Tom Hardy [Trailer + Pictures]

"I found this dark odyssey through an amoral dream Brooklyn curiously invigorating; it's a masterful construction that held me rapt from first shot to last, that builds intense electrical energy and then releases it," said Andrew O'Hehir of

"A sombre, '70s-flavoured crime drama with strong, interior performances from Hardy, Gandolfini and Rapace. Feel the (slow)burn," said Jamie Graham of Total Film.

James GandolfiniJames Gandolfini died after suffering a heart attack in Italy

"Lehane's climactic plot twist is all the more laudable because it springs directly from complexity of character; you realize the truth has been obscured not through a writer's trickery but through your own simple reading of the action," wrote J.R Jones of the Chicago Reader.

More: James Gandolfini's swansong The Drop is a thrilling end

"You have to sit through the slow parts to savor the cool parts. The movie's little surprise is that you didn't waste your time watching it; you were just being primed for an explosion of low volume and high impact," wrote Richard Corliss of TIME magazine.

The Drop hits cinemas in the UK on Friday (November 14, 2014).

Watch the trailer for The Drop: